Steven Smulders enters world
I am very pleased to be able to announce the birth of another family expansion unit, specifically a son. He was born January 19, 2006 at 04:53am, weighing in at 3350g. (I don't know why, but many people seem oddly focused on these statistics).
Steven can be reached via his email address:
firstname.lastname@example.org. He'll not be able to read his own email for some time, but his parents will happily read any congratulations to him.
At this time, I would like to disclose a decision that his mother and I made years ago already, but have never been able to implement, which is the reasoning behind his name.
Whereas his two older sisters have names that we picked on the sole basis that we liked them, Steven's name has a story behind it and this is it:
In my life, there have been a number of people that (especially in hindsight) have been very influential on me and my life in a way that I still cherish to this day. It is safe to say that neither of the two that I'm about to highlight did so with that precise intention, but that does not diminish the value of the end result. Coincidentally, they share (more or less) the same name. (about which smarter readers can safely hazard a guess)
In no particular order, they are Stephen Shanks and Steve Clover. (note to Mr. Cotton: lucky coincidence, mate. ;)
Mr. Shanks was the person who decided to hire me for my first job in London. Had he not done that, it would be fairly safe to say that I would probably have hit financial rock bottom some weeks after that, which would have meant the end of my London adventure. The total impact of those four and a bit years on who I am as a person and as a professional is difficult to overestimate.
The thing is, Stephen never hired me on the basis of my skills, because to be honest, I had just about no relevant ones. He hired me on what I guess is gut feeling alone. Sure, someone probably signed off on it, but he put my name forward as the guy to get. Furthermore, he has been best manager that I could have ever wanted, just as much as I could wish on any technology-infected worker. Along the way he taught me everything I know about (office) politics, although it took me years more to actually take his lessons to heart. When we parted professional ways, I said I would really enjoy working with him again, which I actually did at a later time. The sentiment still stands.
Mr. Clover taught me drumming through the Music School in Tilburg, Holland. I reckon I can pass for a halfway decent drummer still, although I never did even a fraction of the amount of practice that he insisted I do and I haven't played in almost 8 years. The drumming part of his lesson is not what got him on this honour roll of sorts. (although he is rightfully considered a guru by many very scary drummers)
What got him here is the fact that he turned me on to Blues and Jazz. I don't even remember the kind of music I was into before, but it most likely wasn't worth remembering. My current music taste spans a stupendously wide range and I like to think that it all started with this man opening my (previously glued shut) eyes and ears.
I could try to describe the amount of enjoyment I get from music in general, but it would be a waste of words as I could not even do justice to the sheer scale of it, let alone to anything specific.
Between the two of them, they have had an influence on a very large part of who I am today; a part for which I am thankful on a daily basis in one way or another. Thankful enough to name my firstborn son after it.